A notable Underground restaurant owner was former Gov. Lester Maddox, who reopened his Pickrick restaurant there, years after he closed the original location to avoid complying with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also owned a souvenir shop in Underground in the 1970s.
Other restaurants included Southern cooking at Planters Exchange, burgers and beer at The Bucket Shop, steaks, seafood and Italian fare at Blackstone Inn and Crepes de France, according to AtlantaTimeMachine.com.
Another famous locale was Josephine Tussaud's Wax Museum, which photos and information on AtlantaTimeMachine.com show housed more than 100 life-sized wax figures of Confederate generals, civil rights activists, politicians, movie stars, monsters and European royalty.
In 1972, its most profitable year, an estimated 3.5 million people visited Underground Atlanta, which reported $17 million in sales, the AJC previously reported.
Underground was largely empty by 1980, buffeted by rising street crime and impinging MARTA lines. It was made into a shopping district in 1989. In March 2017, the city of Atlanta’s sale of Underground to WRS Real Estate for $34.6 million was completed.
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